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Biochar for Carbon Sequestration.pdf

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Biochar for Carbon Sequestration.pdf

  1. 1. Muhammad Irfan Institute of Soil & Environmental Sciences University of Agriculture Faisalabad Pakistan BIOCHAR FOR CARBON SEQUESTRATION
  2. 2. BIOCHAR FOR CARBON SEQUESTRATION  Soils play an important role in the global carbon cycle, both as sources and sinks of carbon  Carbon exists in two forms within soils; organic and inorganic (calcite and dolomite)  The ability of soils to store additional carbon depends on a number of factors, including existing levels of carbon, soil type, temperature, rainfall, carbon form and how the land is managed  Two major strategies for improving carbon sequestration within the soil profile; changing land management practices to achieve ‘attainable’ carbon levels and enhancing carbon sequestration to achieve ‘potential’ levels
  3. 3. Attainable Carbon Storage Levels  Determined by soil type, plant growth rates and rates of mineralization  Limited by rainfall, temperature and plant nutrition  Changing management practices that increase the return of biomass to soil or slows its decomposition  Traditional methods include no-till practices, retaining stubble and converting marginal cropping lands into forested areas  Associated risks (forest fires and reversion to conventional tillage practices)
  4. 4.  Determined by soil type and largely cannot be influenced by management practices  Practices that overcome climatic limitations to increase potential carbon sequestration include applying carbon to soils from external sources, such as manure and biochar  Biochar is means of sequestering carbon due to its high chemical stability, carbon content and its potential to reside in soils over a long period ‘Slash and burn’ to ‘slash and char’ can offset ~ 12% of all emissions annually from change in land use Total emissions can be reduced to ~ 3 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalents per tonne of biochar Potential Carbon Storage Levels
  5. 5. Soils have a great potential to sequest carbon
  6. 6. The CO2 Problem  Ideal level of CO2 : 280 - 350 ppm  Present level is: 393 ppm (12% above 350)  Disaster level is: 450 ppm (28% above high end)  Pollutive CO2 for removal: 50 ppm  Only 50% of anthropogenic CO2 emissions are naturally sequestered  Anthropogenic sequestration could be applied to pick up the slack WILL GET HOTTER?  IPCC indicated that during the 21st century the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 - 2.9 °C for their lowest emissions scenario and 2.4 - 6.4 °C for their highest  For every 1 degree centigrade increase in atmospheric temp, rice yields decline by 10%
  7. 7. Pyrolyzing biomass can be used to store carbon in soil Half-life of biochar is ~1400 years The CO2 Solution
  8. 8. Timelines for Carbon Transformations & Permanence CO2 Biomass (living and dead) Natural short-term cycle of growth and decay (including biomass burning) is Carbon Neutral: C= Fossil Fuels Bio-carbon Biochar in Soils Hundreds or thousands of years as long-term carbon sequestration: 100 million years (C-) Optional human activity, creating Terra Preta Burn it Burn it 200+ years of fossil fuel consumption is Carbon Positive: C+ Storing carbon is Carbon Negative: C- C-
  9. 9. Timelines for Carbon Transformations & Permanence CO2 Biomass (living and dead) Natural short-term cycle of growth and decay (including biomass burning) is Carbon Neutral: C= Fossil Fuels Bio-carbon Biochar in Soils Hundreds or thousands of years as long-term carbon sequestration: 100 million years (C-) Burn it Burn it 200+ years of fossil fuel consumption is Carbon Positive: C+ Storing carbon is Carbon Negative: C- C- Optional human activity, creating Terra Preta
  10. 10. If all agricultural residue were charred per year and plowed into soils, the annual removal potential is 3.5 ppm Biochar Potential to Sequest CO2 The reality is every year we add ~ 5 billion tons that add ~ 2.4 ppm of CO2 to our atmosphere For every 1 billion ton of net CO2 addition to atmosphere, the CO2 concentration increases by 0.5 ppm

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